New Jersey Skacore act The Best of the Worst surprised no one when they put out another substantive, hard-hitting EP. The eighth release from the tenured band entitled Painted Fools shows that, with time and dedication, TBOTW have only improved on the formula they introduced years ago. The Painted Fools EP is a great listen for any fan of hardcore, metal, ska, mathcore, or even nu-metal.
The EP finds its strength in its refined and crisp quality. Not just in the sense of the recording quality, but also the mastery with which each of the band members brings to their individual offerings. Remember, TBOTW is a seven-piece band. I struggle keeping four other members of my band all together and couldn’t imagine having seven writing and gigging together fluidly. The album has a wide range of sounds that any fan of heavier music could find themselves connecting with. The songs are incredibly diverse, but are strung together well enough to maintain balance between tracks without making the listener feel lost.
If you couldn’t tell, I love this release. While the gruff nature of the vocals and the “rough around the edges” song structure can leave some disinterested, I believe there is a lot of heart within this release. The variety of the songs truly shines and showcases the unique individual talents in the band. One song in particular, “Where Complacency Lives,” inhibits quite a mathcore vibe, bringing intense guitars, interesting time shifts, and killer vocals into the fray.
The Best of the Worst takes advantage of the three vocalists/instrumentalists at their disposal; Joe, Liz, and Jay. Each member has a gripping take on vocal delivery that adds depth to each song without feeling too dissonant. The crew tries something new with each song and succeeds swimmingly. No risk they took fails, each song finds its mark, impacting the floor where a pit is probably forming this very moment.
The horn section also impresses on the Painted Fools EP. Past TBOTW releases may have smothered some sassy horns with continually brutal breakdowns, but the most recent releases have seen the horns come to the forefront in style.
The last track of this EP, “We’ve Been Held Hostage,” gives listeners a complete offering of The Best of the Worst’s A-game. The song has blistering horns, deadly breakdowns, and raspy vocals that will leave you screaming ’til the silence comes.
I already know that this track is going to be a fan favorite during live performance. All in all, this release is excellent and I recommend it for punk fans of any kind. The Best of the Worst stick to their roots while taking their hard working DIY ethics to the next level.
Follow TBOTW on Facebook and stream their new EP Painted Fools below!